Tampa Bay’s 2-0 win over Chicago last night was a big one for the Lightning but it nearly came at a severe price. Captain Vincent Lecavalier scored the eventual game-winning goal but later left after being high sticked in the eye in what looked to be a potentially dangerous incident.
The Lightning announced today that Lecavalier has no structural damage to his eye and he may play tomorrow night against Buffalo. Lecavalier is officially listed as being day-to-day.
Lecavalier hasn’t been the prolific scorer we recall from past seasons but the Lightning’s head man has been solid in helping give Steve Stamkos and Martin St. Louis more offense to spread around. Lecavalier’s 21 goals and 28 assists might not reach out and grab you by the collar but it’s good for third on the team in points.
While St. Louis and Stamkos have been the focal point of the Lightning offense, potentially losing Lecavalier would’ve been tragic to the Lightning’s Stanley Cup hopes. Given that Lecavalier and St. Louis are two of the guys there that have won it all before in Florida, losing that experience in the postseason would’ve hurt them badly.
Offense isn’t a big problem for the Lightning (they’re sixth in the NHL in goals scored) but chopping a 50-point player from the lineup would be more than noticeable, especially given that four of Lecavalier’s 21 goals have been game winners.